As any Labrador Retriever owner knows, this breed of dog loves to run, jump, and swim any chance they get. They are fun and active dogs, always on the move, and ready to give you a big cuddle any chance they get.
With all this activity comes the need for the occasional bath and when it comes to caring for your Labrador Retriever, ensuring you have the best shampoo to suit their needs is super important. But, with so many shampoos now available on the market, it can be tricky to determine which is the best option for your dog.
To help you figure out the best shampoo for your Lab and their needs, keep reading for some information about the different kinds of shampoos, what they offer and some of the best choices on the market. We always recommend speaking to your local veterinarian if you have any concerns, to ensure your dog’s safety.
What Is The Best Shampoo For Labrador Retrievers?
- Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog
- Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
- Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural
- Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs
- Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo
- HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids
- Earthbath Shed Control Shampoo
- Tropiclean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet
- Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me Waterless
- Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat
- Allerpet Dog Dander Remover
6 Different Types of Shampoos for Labrador Retrievers
There are 6 common types of shampoo that are used to bathe Labrador Retrievers.
- Medicated – Medicated shampoos are generally for dogs who have skin concerns or skin allergies, which can include dry and itchy skin, seborrheic skin conditions, bacterial infections, and even mange. There are a variety of medicated shampoos available to suit almost every skin condition, so once you have determined the underlying problem with your Lab’s skin, there is likely a medicated shampoo on the market you can use. Labrador Retrievers can suffer from Atopic Dermatitis, which may require medicated shampoo, so speak to your veterinarian regarding this.
- Hypoallergenic – If you find that your Labrador Retriever has skin issues, this may be caused by the shampoo that you are currently using. Some shampoos have allergens in them that can cause irritations to our dogs’ skin, which is not ideal. Hypoallergenic shampoos are free of allergens and can be an alternative to medicated options.
- Deodorizing – Almost everyone has experienced that ‘dog’ smell before, and it usually isn’t a pleasant one. So, to counter that unpleasant odor from your Labrador Retriever, using a deodorizing shampoo is a great choice. It provides a deep clean, right down to the skins, and offers odor control in a variety of ways. Never experience a smelly dog again!
- Tearless – Tearless shampoo for dogs is just like tearless shampoo for humans – it is made in a way that when it comes into contact with your dog’s eyes, it does not burn. It is made up of ingredients that ensure they do not irritate your Labrador Retriever’s eyes, making bath time a ‘tear-free’ experience.
- Waterless – Waterless shampoo for dogs is the equivalent of dry shampoo for humans. It can come in a gel, foam, spray or powder, and does not require washing out. Waterless shampoo can remain on your Lab’s coat and does not need water to ‘wash out’, as it draws out excess oil and dirt from the skin.
- Shed Control – Finally, shed control shampoos are designed to help stop incessant shedding from your Labrador Retriever. They are generally used to restore coat health and ease shedding, as they contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (which have been proven to reduce shedding).
6 Common Special Health Feature Shampoos to Consider
There are also 6 common special health feature shampoos that can be used for Labrador Retrievers.
- Anti-Fungal/Anti-Bacterial – Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial shampoos are often classified as medicated shampoos, as they share a lot of the same qualities. If your Labrador Retriever is suffering from yeast or bacterial infections, or mange, anti-fungal and/or anti-bacterial shampoos can offer great relief from scratching, as well as clearing up the issue. Many shampoos have both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, so always check the label.
- Dander Control – Dander control is another offering that some shampoos provide, which is a big drawcard for people with allergies. Although dander control won’t magically fully eliminate all pet allergens, regularly bathing your Labrador in dander control shampoo can definitely assist in allergy control. A lot of dander shampoos smell great too – so added bonus!
- Sensitive Skin – If your Labrador Retriever suffers from sensitive skin, ensuring you are using the correct shampoo for their needs is super important otherwise it can make matters worse. As some Labrador Retrievers can suffer from Atopic Dermatitis, shampoos for sensitive skin are available on the market, with some being advertised as medicated as well. Always check with your veterinarian if you are unsure.
- Skin & Coat Health – Ensuring that your Lab’s skin and coat are happy and healthy is a big part of looking after their happiness. If you find that your dog’s coat is dull and/or their skin is looking irritated or red, this may be signs that a skin & coat health shampoo is needed. From skin moisture to omegas to medicated options, there is a lot of choices when it comes to skin & coat health for your Labrador.
- Itch & Redness Remedy – Itchiness and redness on your Labrador’s skin can indicate a range of things, from a skin allergy to a food allergy to any other number of underlying issues. To combat this, there are many shampoos that are targeted at itch & redness remedy, to help ease the uncomfortable scratching and possible sores. Many of these shampoos are also medicated and/or hypoallergenic, offering soothing capabilities – and calming too!
- Calming – Finally, calming shampoos for Labradors may sound a little odd, but they offer calming and soothing principles to their skin if it is irritated and red. This can also fall into line with shampoos that are used for sensitive skin, as well as those for itch & redness and medicated options. All offer great benefits, depending on the needs of your pooch.
Overall Best Shampoo for Labrador Retrievers
|Our 2021 Picks: Overall Best Shampoo for Labrador Retrievers|
|Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint
|Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
|Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control
|Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo
|Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo
|HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo
|Earthbath Shed Control
|TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut
|Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me
|Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo
|Allerpet Dog Dander Remover
- A 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner soap-free formula.
- It offers a rich lather easily and is simple to wash off.
- Ingredients include natural conditioners and pure botanical extracts such as sage, aloe vera, rosemary, green tea, and chamomile.
- Completely alcohol-free.
- Coconut based and combined with lavender and mint, offering a soothing bath experience.
Overall Best – Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is a great, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner for your Labrador Retriever at any age. It offers a soap-free formula, made up of cosmetic-grade botanical extracts and essential oils, so your pup will both smell great and feel fresh. There is also a green tea, aloe vera, lavender, mint… the list goes on, offering a soothing bath time experience.
Let’s not forget that this shampoo is also made in the USA and contains only simple and natural ingredients, meaning no harsh chemicals are being put on your Labrador Retrievers skin at any time. Buddy Wash shampoos are also safe for humans, as well as animals, and offer nourishing ingredients to suit your dog’s needs.
- The inclusion of wheat protein in the shampoo is a natural deodorizer.
- Wheat protein is safe for frequent use on your furry friends (even puppies!).
- Not tested on animals and is safe for humans when used as directed.
- Leaves skin silky, soft and shiny.
- Made in the USA.
- This formula does not offer flea repellence.
- It can cause issues for dogs with a wheat allergy.
- It does not contain any dyes or parabens.
- It contains oatmeal to soothe skin.
- Actively hydrates, protects, and nourishes the skin through the use of oat protein.
- Gentle shampoo.
- Contains Certified Organic Aloe Vera Juice to assist with skin hydration and coat health.
Most Affordable Labrador Retriever Shampoo – Not only does the Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats offer an awesome price point, it also offers a range of benefits for your Labrador Retriever. From oat protein to hydrate and protect your dog’s skin to chamomile extract to soothe it, this shampoo can provide your Lab with a soft coat and great skin health (without hurting your pocket).
This shampoo contains a light almond fragrance however some have suggested that it is not that appealing after bath time is over, however all in all your fluffy friend will be looking fresh and clean in so many ways. And, let’s not forget the coconut and plant-derived cleaners, which are gentle and kind on both a Labrador’s skin and coat. It sounds like a win-win.
- Affordable price point.
- Helps relieve itching.
- Soft coat following washing.
- Not tear-free.
- Can leave an odor after bathing.
- 2-in-1 gentle shampoo and conditioner.
- Offers 4-in-1 benefits including neutralizing odors, deodorizing, skin and coat cleansing, and rich conditioning.
- Tearless and soap-free formula that is ideal for sensitive skin.
- Does not contain any dyes or perfumes.
- Fresh spring waters scent.
- Made in the USA and safe to use with topical products.
Best Labrador Retriever Puppy Shampoo – If you have been lucky enough to introduce a gorgeous Labrador Retriever puppy into your life, you want to know that you are using the best shampoo to keep them fresh, clean, and looking great. Nature’s Miracle offers great odor control, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner for your newest furry family member offering odor neutralization, deodorizing, skin and coat cleaning and conditioning
It is also tearless, gentle and does not contain any dyes or perfumes, as well as safe to use with any spot-on tick and flea products you may be using. Nature’s Miracle is also soap-free and is a natural Cocoa Surfactant shampoo, meaning it offers a thorough clean as well as reduced static electricity.
- Offers a soft and silky coat.
- Great odor deodorization.
- Affordable price point.
- Makes your puppy smell great.
- Gentle on puppy skin.
- Good scent does not last long.
- Designed to wash away allergens, which results in the soothing of sensitive skin and improves itchiness.
- Formulated by veterinarians with a balanced range of essential oils and natural ingredients.
- Designed to leave your Labrador smelling fresh and clean.
- Offers itch relief for both allergies and skin irritations.
Allergy and Itch Control Shampoo for Labrador Retrievers – If you are looking for a great allergy and itch control shampoo for your Labrador, Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo is a great option for both. Containing oatmeal, d-limonene, and tea tree oil, this shampoo offers the perfect balance of natural ingredients to help out sensitive skin and help relieve itchiness.
The combination of ingredients do not affect topical flea and tick treatments, making this a good option for your Labrador Retriever at any time of year. It also makes your furry family member smell great, while washing away any allergens that could be causing problems.
- Super silky and shiny coat.
- Do not have to leave on your dog for extended periods of time.
- Great scent.
- Suitable for both sensitive skin and skin allergies.
- Made in the USA.
- Does not lather well.
- Cannot be used on puppies under the age of 12 weeks.
- Contains both chlorhexidine and climbazole – both of which assist with bacteria control and control of fungi populations.
- Lipacid assists with restoring the skin barrier through moisturizing and providing a lipo-protidic file deposit.
- Seborrhea and inflammation are regulated through the use of Phytosphingosine Salicyloyl and lipacid as well.
- A film that offers irritation protection and defies rinsing is deposited on the skin after use to avoid moisture loss.
- Formula contains 3.0% Chlorhexidine Gluconate, 0.5% Climbazole, and 0.05% Phytosphingosine Salicyloyl.
Fungal and Bacterial Infections – The Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo is a great option if your Labrador Retriever is suffering from skin inflammation caused by bacteria or a yeast infection, as well as seborrhea (or ‘hotspots’). It lathers up really well without having to use a lot of product which, considering its higher price bracket, is a great thing as it lasts a lot longer! Duoxo contains ingredients with a range of moisturizing ingredients such as chlorhexidine, climbazole, and phytosphingosine to help with both superficial and severe skin conditions.
Not only does it help with skin irritations, it also leaves your Labrador Retrievers coat feeling super smooth and healthy, as well as having a pleasant smell that isn’t too medical-like. You will likely see results after only a few washes, making it a great choice for any Lab who needs relief sooner rather than later. And it makes them look nice and clean too!
- Anti-microbial and anti-yeast.
- Lathers well.
- Cost-effective, as lasts a long time.
- Pleasant smell.
- It offers smooth and silky fur.
- More expensive than other fungal shampoos.
- Has to sit on the coat for 10 minutes before washing.
- Both gentle and hypoallergenic.
- Soap-free formula.
- Contains natural moisturizing ingredients.
- Maintains skin hydration.
- Non-stripping and non-drying.
Soap Free & Hypoallergenic – The HyLyt Shampoo for Dogs & Cats is a great choice when it comes to soap-free and hypoallergenic options for Labrador Retrievers. This formula has the ideal pH balance for their skin, ensuring less cause for irritation, as well as containing emollients for moisture and hydration and protein for conditioning.
If your Lab suffers from seborrhea (or ‘hotspots’), HyLyt contains essential fatty acids that assist with nourishing the skin, as well as helping control both scaling and flaking caused by seborrhea. HyLyt is both non-drying and non-stripping, as well as promoting a shiny and healthy coat for your Lab. It may even help with flea and tick products placed on the skin!
- Great lather without having to use a lot of product.
- Smells great.
- Easily rinsed.
- Helps control flaking and scaling caused by seborrhea
- Can potentially benefit topical flea and tick products.
- Not all ingredients are from the USA.
5 Other Top-Rated Labrador Retriever Shampoos
Another option for shed control is the Earthbath Shed Control Shampoo, offering a nice fresh coat for your Labrador Retriever while controlling shedding. It contains organic shea butter, glycerin and allantoin, which are all ingredients designed to nourish dog skin and lock in moisture, in addition to green tea extract and omega-6 fatty acids, which work hard to protect the skin and repair any damage that can potentially cause shedding.
Tropiclean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner is the perfect option if you are looking for a luxurious 2-in-1 formula that both smells great (and assists with moisture levels on your Labrador Retriever’s skin. Mango and coconut help with releasing tangled fur, and papaya and kiwi nurture dry skin and help make your Lab’s coat look great.
If waterless shampoo is more what you are looking for when it comes to your Labrador, look no further than Ark Naturals. It cleans and refreshes your dog without needing to stress through bath time, with a shampoo foam offering all you need to clean and moisturize your Lab’s coat. Made up of a natural botanical formula, it will have your dog looking and smelling amazing.
Burt’s Bees offers great products for humans, but they also offer great products for Labrador Retrievers. Made up of natural ingredients such as colloidal oat flour and honey, you know you are using trustworthy products on your pets. This shampoo is pH balanced and made in the USA without artificial fragrances, chemicals, parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), as well as being bottled in an 80% post-consumer recycled packaging. It moisturizes and promotes a healthy coat for your Lab too!
Last but certainly not least, Allerpet offers a scientifically proven formula that helps remove dander from your Labrador Retriever before it becomes airborne. It has been shown to reduce up to 50% of dander when used once a week and is also super easy to apply – place Allerpet on a towel and wipe down your Lab… that’s it! No bathing is required, and the formula is both non-toxic and non-oily, meaning it doesn’t leave any nasties that attract more allergens.
Our 2021 Guide to Bathing your Labrador Retriever
There are seven major points when it comes to bathing your Labrador Retriever:
- Brush your dog before a bath, as matted hair can retain water and leave your furry friend with irritated skin.
- Use lukewarm water – roughly about the same temperature as you would run for a baby, as dogs have different skin to adults and hot water burns more easily.
- Keep chatting to your dog in a calm voice and always reassure them.
- Always use dog shampoo!
- Rinse well, as leftover soap can irritate the skin.
- Either air-dry or use a blow-dryer for dogs – never use a human hair dryer, as this will be too hot.
- Reward your Labrador Retriever once it is all over with praise, pets, and/or play!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best shampoo for Labrador Retrievers? The best shampoo for Labrador Retrievers depends on a range of factors, from whether they have skin issues to their age. Overall, however, the Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is a great choice.
- How often should you bathe your Labrador Retriever? Although Labs generally love the water, bathing them too often can remove the natural oils from their skins and trap moisture in the undercoat. Therefore, Labrador Retrievers should not be bathed more than once a month, and if they are not dirty, once a quarter or even once every six months is adequate.
- Why does my Labrador Retriever stink? Because Labrador Retrievers were born and bred to work in and around the water, they have a dense double coat with an oily outer layer. This layer provides almost ideal waterproofing, which is great for your Lab but not so great when it comes to odor. The oils contained within their fur give them that ‘doggy’ smell, especially when they are damp after a swim.
- Can I use human shampoos on Labrador Retrievers? It is not recommended that you use human shampoo on your Labrador Retriever, as it is too acidic for dog skin. Human shampoo can dry out dog skin and make it more susceptible to parasites and bacteria, among other things, as the pH level of dog skin and human skin is different. On the other hand, dog shampoo has the correct alkaline levels, making it a lot more suited to Labrador’s skin.
- Why does my Labrador Retriever still stink after a bath? Labrador Retrievers, like all other dogs, can have that ‘wet dog’ smell after they have finished in the bath. This can be caused by natural oils and micro-organisms, like bacteria and yeast, which are found in your dog’s coat and on their skin. When these oils and micro-organisms get wet, they can give off an unpleasant odor, which is the smell you notice after bath time.
Overall, there is a range of shampoos currently on the market to suit Labradors of all shapes, sizes, and ages. From your puppy with sensitive skin to your older dog with skin allergies, the options are wide-ranging in price and ability. We always recommend speaking to a veterinarian before choosing a shampoo, however, your Labrador Retriever will thank you when you find the right one!